What is kamma? The Buddha said: “Oh monks, it is volition that I call kamma.” The popular meaning of kamma is action or doing, but as a technical term, kamma means volition or will. When you do something, there is volition behind it, and that volition, that mental effort, is called kamma. The Buddha explained that, having willed, one then acts through body, speech, and mind. Whatever you do, there is some kind of kamma, mental effort, will, and volition. Volition is one of the fifty-two mental states which arise together with consciousness.